Standard Bariatrics is a clinical-staged company developing and commercializing innovate medical devices for the surgical treatment of obesity. Its Standard Clamp was cleared by the FDA in August c2017, and today more than 32 hospitals are using the device. Surgeons are praising the clamp for its consistency leading to positive outcomes, as well as the hospital buyers who value the reduction of supply costs of the existing staplers used with clamp.
Recently, the company closed on a Series A round of funding with the help of QCA. Members Tony Shipley, John Habbert and Roy Kulick played critical rolls in the early rounds and leading up to the Series A financing.
“Without the support of Queen City Angels, we would not have achieved the milestones that were required to go out and raise the amount of capital we needed in series A,” said Matt Sokany, CEO of Standard Bariatrics. “In the early stages, Roy was a board advisor, and I was quick to learn his value, not only representing QCA, but also his experience in the life sciences arena.”
As Standard Bariatrics was preparing for a new round of funding, the company wanted to reach out to a wider number of angel investors and groups across the country. QCA’s connection to the national angel groups, particularly in California, Texas and other parts of Ohio. QCA’s reputation and connections allowed Sokany to reach out number of people to get the best indication of interest in the Series A round.
“Tony has a really good handle on the types of angel groups that would be appropriate for our deal,” said Sokany. “A number of people took my call, and I had a number of conversations with investors because of Tony’s and QCA’s influence. Their time and energy focusing on the right investment groups brought about a sizable syndication.
In addition to making connection, Shipley also spent time helping develop the pitch presentation, providing input on how to present Standard Bariatrics opportunity in the best light. In the end, RiverVest Venture Partners, a Midwest VC, provided the term sheet. While there were questions about whether or not an angel group would appropriate for this part of the investment, Shipley was able to articulate how QCA works, and in the end, RiverVest was comfortable with QCA and the other angel investors introduced by QCA to the deal.
“QCA is a very good partner, and we never felt that QCA was only looking out for QCA,” added Sokany. “Even when we only had two board seats to offer for the funding, and QCA was not offered, the group was supportive, and excepted a observer seat graciously. They were always looking out for what fit within our investment strategy and business.”
Today, Standard Bariatrics looks at QCA as a strong partner with members who have vast knowledge in the start-up world that add value to the company’s c-suite. Sokany sees QCA has a great resource to tap into when big decisions are coming and the company needs different inputs to address challenges and opportunities.
Sokany stated, “The most important thing about making the right decision is to have access to the most information I can. QCA adds real value to its portfolio companies, not only supplying capital, but also business experience, and functional and technical skill that we can tap into as often as we need to.”